|Publication number||US7599466 B2|
|Application number||US 11/400,833|
|Publication date||Oct 6, 2009|
|Filing date||Apr 7, 2006|
|Priority date||Apr 8, 2005|
|Also published as||CN1843297A, CN1843297B, DE102005016472A1, DE102005016472B4, US20070030945|
|Publication number||11400833, 400833, US 7599466 B2, US 7599466B2, US-B2-7599466, US7599466 B2, US7599466B2|
|Inventors||Jan Boese, Günter Lauritsch|
|Original Assignee||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (25), Non-Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (2), Classifications (10), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority to the German Application No. 10 2005 016 472.2, filed Apr. 8, 2005 which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
The present invention relates to an operating method for X-ray equipment,
The present invention further relates to a data carrier with a computer program stored on the data carrier for a control device of X-ray equipment to carry out such an operating method. The present invention also relates to a control device for X-ray equipment with such a data carrier and corresponding X-ray equipment.
The present invention also relates to an operating method for a computer,
The present invention finally relates to a further data carrier with a computer program stored on the data carrier for a computer to carry out such an operating method and the corresponding computer itself.
Such operating methods and devices are generally known. They are used for example in computer tomography and also in so-called C-arm systems and the like. By means of the projections detected, a three-dimensional reconstruction of the object to be examined is generally carried out. The object to be examined is therefore frequently, if not always, the beating heart of a human being.
To detect the projections, the X-ray arrangement is generally pivoted about a pivot angle of more than 180°. The pivot angle is, for example, between 195° and 220°. When the three-dimensional reconstruction of the object to be examined is to be detected according to the Feldkamp algorithm which is generally known to persons skilled in the art, the minimum value of the pivot angle is 180°+β. In this connection, β is the detection angle of the X-ray detector.
In computer tomography (CT) equipment the X-ray arrangement is pivoted relatively rapidly. Thus it is possible to achieve, for example, pivoting speeds where the X-ray arrangement is pivoted by the required pivot angle for only 0.1 to 0.2 seconds. This rather short time of well under one second is short enough to take a sufficiently large number of recordings from a sufficiently large angular range during a single cardiac cycle, whereby the heart is in diastole, in which it moves only relatively little, during the entire recording time.
However, with angiography systems and C-arm equipment, the time required to sweep over the required pivot angle is well over one second. Typical pivoting times are between a few seconds (for example 3 to 5 seconds) and one minute or more. With these X-ray devices, the aforementioned operating methods are therefore generally only used for detecting projections of statistical structures. Examples of such statistical structures are the human brain and the vascular system of the brain.
In spite of the long recording times, attempts have already also been made to use the aforementioned operating methods with angiography systems and C-arm equipment to detect images of the heart. Various approaches for this are known.
It is, for example, known to use so-called symbolic reconstruction methods instead of a full reconstruction method. With such reconstruction methods, it is assumed that the macrostructure of the object to be examined and to be reconstructed is already known. Using the evaluated projections only a remainder correction is then carried out. A few projections (generally between two and eight projections) are sufficient for such a remainder correction. The drawback of this method is that already to some extent, i.e. even before the evaluation of the first projection, it is assumed that the macrostructure of the object to be reconstructed is known.
A further approach according to the scientific paper by Onno Wink, Richard Kemkers, S.-Y James Chen, John D Carroll: ‘Coronary Intervention Planning Using Hybrid 3D Reconstruction’, MICCAI (1) 2002, pages 604 to 611, consists in selecting those projections where the phase position of the object to be examined corresponds approximately to a reconstruction phase position and to reconstruct the object to be examined using these selected projections. The more accurately the reconstruction phase position is to be maintained, the fewer projections are available for selection, however. The angular ranges within which these selected projections have been detected are also correspondingly small. Above all, however, large angular gaps are present between these angular ranges. This results in a great reduction of the reconstruction accuracy and indeed both relative to the possible contrast and also relative to the local resolution of the three-dimensional reconstruction.
More specifically, it is even possible to select the phase window to be larger around the reconstruction phase position. This, however, results in projections being used which originate from phase positions of the heart which diverge more markedly from one another. The actual movement of the object to be examined within this phase window is thus disregarded. This leads to errors and artefacts during the reconstruction, which likewise impair both the contrast and the local resolution.
It has also be attempted—see the scientific paper by Ch. Blondel, G. Malandain, R. Vaillant and N. Ayache: ‘4D deformation field of coronary arteries from monoplane rotational X-ray angiography’, which appeared in Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery 2003 Proceedings, Volume 1256 of ICS, London, United Kingdom, June 2003, Elsevier, pages 1073 to 1078—to compensate for the movement of the object to be examined, known in broad outline, in the projections by corresponding modifications. Even this approach, however, exhibits weaknesses in practical use. Moreover, it can only be used for objects to be examined which are highly contrasted. Finally, for these methods long computing times and/or user interactions are frequently required.
An object of the present invention is to provide operating methods by means of which the aforementioned drawbacks can be avoided, although the time required to sweep over the pivot angle is greater than a resting phase of the object to be examined.
Insofar as it relates to the detection of projections, the object is achieved by an operating method for X-ray equipment, in which
The object is also further achieved within the scope of recording the projections by a data carrier with a computer program stored on the data carrier for a control device of X-ray equipment, whereby the computer program serves to carry out such an operating method. For the recording of projections the object is also achieved by a control device for X-ray equipment which comprises such a data carrier. Finally, the object is further achieved, insofar as it relates to the recording of projections, by X-ray equipment with a control device and an X-ray arrangement,
Insofar as it refers to the evaluation of projections, the object is achieved by an operating method for a computer,
The object is also achieved relative to the evaluation of the projections by a data carrier with a computer program for a computer stored on the data carrier, whereby the computer program serves to carry out such an operating method. Finally, the object is further achieved, insofar as it relates to the evaluation of the projections, by a computer with such a data carrier.
As regards the recording of projections, the pivoting processes can always run from the first to the second final angular position. Preferably, however, the pivoting processes run alternately from the first to the second final angular position and from the second to the first final angular position.
Generally, the control device detects the information corresponding to the phase position of the object to be examined using the moments when the object to be examined adopts a desired phase position, and the recording times.
The control device can control the individual pivoting processes independently of the phase position of the object to be examined. Preferably, however,
The manipulation can, for example, be carried out by the control device which starts the pivoting process at a correspondingly evaluated start time. Alternatively or additionally, the manipulation can also be carried out by the control device varying the pivoting speed during the pivoting process.
Preferably, during the individual pivoting processes, the control device again monitors whether an omission criterion is fulfilled and controls the X-ray source optionally at least only at reduced capacity. As a result, the X-ray load of the object to be examined can be minimized. The omission criterion can for example be fulfilled when the phase position of the object to be examined is within an omission range. Alternatively or additionally the omission criterion can also be fulfilled when, during the temporary angular position of the X-ray detector and the temporary phase position of the object to be examined, a projection of the object to be examined has already been recorded and stored. During evaluation of the projections it is possible that for at least one of the angular positions in which it has selected a plurality of projections, the computer detects one of these projections as a reconstruction projection. It is, however, also possible that the computer, for at least one of the angular positions, in which it has selected a plurality of projections, detects the reconstruction projection using at least two (generally precisely two) of these projections. Which of these two methods the computer uses can, in particular, depend on the phase positions of the projections selected for the respective angular position with regard to the reconstruction phase position.
When the computer detects the respective reconstruction projection using at least two selected projections, it is possible for the computer to detect the reconstruction projection by an interpolation carried out pixel by pixel. This method has the advantage that it can be carried out relatively simply and rapidly. Generally, however, it leads to improved results, when the computer detects elastic image warping between at least two of the projections which it uses to detect the reconstruction projection and detects the reconstruction projection using the elastic image warping and at least one of the projections used to detect the elastic image warping. For more accurate detection of the elastic image warping, it is also possible that the computer is previously subjected to a structure detection for detecting the projections used to detect the elastic image warping, for example carries out an edge detection.
Further advantages and details are revealed from the following description of an embodiment in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
The control device 1 is, as is indicated in
The control device 1 comprises, among other things, a computer unit 7 and a terminal 8 via which it can communicate with an operator 9. The mode of operation of the control device 1 is determined by a computer program 10 which is deposited in a program memory 11 of the control device 1, for example in a hard drive or in a non-volatile semi-conductor memory. The program memory 11 of the control device 1 thus corresponds to a data carrier 11 which is permanently assigned to the control device 1.
The computer program 10 can be supplied to the control device 1 in different ways. For example, it is possible that the computer program 10 of the control device 1 has been supplied via the Internet or another network device. In this case the computer program 10 is stored in a source on a data carrier and from which the computer program 10 is loaded into the control device 1. Both the network connection and the source and the data carrier located there are not shown in
Based on the programming with the computer program 10, the control device 1 (and thus also the X-ray equipment as a whole) carries out an operating method which will be described below in connection with
Moreover, the control device 1 controls the X-ray arrangement 2 in a step S2 so that the X-ray arrangement 2 is pivoted at a pivoting speed v from a first final angular position αmin to a second final angular position αmax about the pivot axis 5.
During the pivoting process the control device 1 controls the X-ray arrangement 2 in a step S3, such that the X-ray detector 4 at a plurality of angular positions α respectively records a projection P of the object to be examined 6 and supplies the control device 1. These projections P are stored by the control device 1—still within the scope of step S3.
The pivoting of the X-ray arrangement 2 is, as already mentioned, controlled by the control device 1. For every recorded projection P, the control device 1 therefore knows at which angular position α this projection P has been recorded. It is therefore able in a step S4 to assign the corresponding angular position α to each recorded projection P and to store this angular position α together with the projection P.
Finally, according to
Using the recording time t and the time ti, at which—purely by way of example—the R-spikes of the ECG phase signal occur, a phase position φ of the object to be examined 6 can therefore be detected for each projection P. It is therefore possible that this detection is undertaken within the context of step S4 by the control device 1. It can, however, also be temporarily deferred. In this case the basic information itself, i.e. the recording times t and the times ti of the R-spikes, is information about the phase position φ of the object to be examined 6.
As already mentioned, the time during which the X-ray arrangement 2 is pivoted from the first final angular position αmin to the second final angular position αmax is so great that the object to be examined 6 during this pivoting process carries out numerous iterations of its motion cycle. In the present case, where the human heart 6 is under consideration, the heart 6 repeatedly beats. When the projections P are continuously recorded, the object to be examined 6 is therefore within the phase window which is determined by the desired phase position α1 and the corresponding maximum allowable phase deviation δφ1 only in the case of part of the projections P.
If it is known beforehand that a subsequent three-dimensional reconstruction of the object to be examined 6 is to take place only during the desired phase position φ1 (and/or within the maximum allowable deviation δφ1 about the desired phase position φ1), it is possible that the control device 1 controls the X-ray source 3 and the X-ray detector 4 only during a suitably selected time window after each ECG phase signal. Outside the time window an omission criterion is then fulfilled. The omission criterion consists, in this case, of the phase position φ of the object to be examined 6 being in an omission range during this time period.
As an alternative to a complete omission of these projections P the X-ray source 3 could simply be controlled at reduced capacity, for example so that it emits only a fraction (half, third, etc) of the normal X-ray radiation.
Independently therefrom, whether the X-ray source 3 is at times controlled at reduced capacity or at full capacity, the projections P, however, in which the phase position φ of the object to be examined 6 is in the desired phase window, sweep over only one part of the pivot angle. According to
The method described above in connection with
Thus, according to
At least according to the initial execution of steps S2 to S5, however, the aforementioned angle gaps 15 occur. The control device 1 therefore returns to step S2, and once more executes steps S2 to S5. Preferably, the control device 1 therefore returns directly to step S2. Thus the individual pivoting processes are then executed alternately from the first to the second final angular position αmin, αmax and from the second to the first final angular position αmax, αmin. This results, in particular, in a time-optimized operation of the X-ray equipment.
It could also be possible, however, to carry out a step S7 between steps S5 and S2, in which the X-ray arrangement 2 is pivoted back into the first final angular position αmin, without projections P of the object to be examined 6 being recorded. In this case, the pivoting processes always run from the first to the second final angular position αmin, αmax. Step S7 is, however, only optional and therefore in
Carrying out steps S2 to S5 during a further cycle is, in principle, as already described above. As in contrast to the above description of the first cycle, during subsequent cycles through steps S2 to S5, angular positions α already exist in which projections P of the object to be examined 6 have already been recorded, the method of steps S2 to S5 is slightly modified. Thus steps S8 carried out between steps S2 and S3.
In step S8, the control device 1 checks the desired phase position
More specifically, steps S8 advantageous, but not obligatory. For this reason they are shown in
It is furthermore possible according to
Based on the second execution of steps S2 to S5—this time optionally with steps S8 and S9—according to
It is thereby achieved that a set of projections P is gradually recorded and stored, whereby the set of projections P contains at least one projection P for every angular position α of the X-ray detector 4, in which the phase position
Before more detail is given about the detection of the three-dimensional reconstruction of the object to be examined 6 below, it should be pointed out that the evaluation of the set of projections P described below is possible, namely in connection with the identification of the projections P. In principle, this evaluation is however separate from the recording of projections P. Whether it takes place by means of the control device 1 which is denoted hereinafter for this purpose as a computer 1, or by means of a separate evaluation computer is irrelevant within the context of the present invention. It is only of significance
Moreover, it is naturally required that the computer 1—for example by means of the computer program 10—is correspondingly programmed, so that it is able to carry out operating methods described in more detail below in connection with
In a step S12 the computer 1 selects an angular position α. For this angular position α the computer detects in a step S13 the corresponding projection P, i.e. the projections P which have been recorded for this angular position α. In a step S14, the computer 1 selects from these projections P those projections P where the phase position
The number of projections P detected in step S14 can be zero. This is verified in step S15. In this case it is possible to proceed immediately to step S19.
The number of projections P detected in step S14 can, however, also be exactly equal to one, which is checked in step S16. When this occurs, the computer 1 establishes, in a step S17 for the currently selected angular position α, that this one projection P is a reconstruction projection P.
Otherwise, the computer 1 has been able to locate a plurality of projections P for the currently selected angular position α which are located around the reconstruction phase position
Both from step S15 (already mentioned) and from steps S17 and S18 the computer 1 continues to carry out the method with step S19. In step S19, the computer 1 checks whether steps S12 to S18 have already been carried out for all angular positions α. When this is not the case, the computer 1 returns to step S12 where it selects a further angular position α which has not been checked until now. Otherwise the determination and/or detection of the reconstruction projections P is terminated. In this case the computer 1 continues the operating method of
Various methods are possible for the implementation of step S18 of
It is therefore possible according to
If, however, no such projection P is detected, in a step S24 an attempt is made for the currently selected angular position α to detect a first and a second auxiliary projection P′, P″. The auxiliary projections P′, P″ must naturally have been detected at the currently selected angular position α. Phase positions
In a step S25 the computer checks whether it has been able to find the first auxiliary projection P′. If this is not the case, it determines in a step S26 the second auxiliary projection P″ for the reconstruction projection P for the currently selected angular position α.
If, however, it has been able to find the first auxiliary projection P′, the computer checks, in a step S27, whether it has been able to find the second auxiliary projection P″. If this is not the case, the computer 1 determines in a step S28 the first auxiliary projection P′ for the currently selected angular position α for the reconstruction projection P.
If the computer 1 has been able to find both the first auxiliary projection P′ and the second auxiliary projection P″, in a step S29 using the two auxiliary projections P′, P″ for the currently selected angular position α the computer 1 detects the corresponding reconstruction projection P.
A plurality of methods are provided to implement step S29. The simplest is, as shown in
In a step S32 the computer 1 also subjects the second auxiliary projection P″ to a structure detection. Steps S31 and S32 are therefore only optional as although they improve the quality of a subsequent step S33, step S33 can be carried out without steps S31 and S32.
In step S33 the computer 1 detects elastic image warping between the auxiliary projections P′, P″. Methods for detecting the elastic image warping are generally known to persons skilled in the art and, for example, described in detail in J. B. A. Maintz, M. A. Viergever: ‘A survey of medical image registration’, Medical Image Analysis 2 (1) (1998), 1-36 or D. Rueckert, L. I. Sonoda, C. Hayes: ‘Non-rigid registration using free-form deformations: Applications to breast MR images’, IEEE Trans. on Medical Imaging 18 (8) (1999), 712-721.
Moreover, in a step S34 using the elastic image warping detected in step S33 and at least one of the auxiliary projections P′, P″ the computer 1 detects the reconstruction projection (P). Such methods are known to persons skilled in the art by the terms ‘image morphing’and ‘image warping’ and for example described in George Wolberg: ‘Digital Image Warping’ (IEEE Computer Society Press Monograph), Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Pr; 1st edition (Jul. 27, 1990), ISBN: 0818689447, chapter 7,pages 187 to 260.
By means of the method according to the invention, high-quality three-dimensional reconstructions of the object to be examined 6 can therefore be detected, although the object to be examined 6 moves iteratively and the time for pivoting the X-ray arrangement 2 is greater than the cycle time of the object to be examined 6.
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|U.S. Classification||378/8, 378/4, 378/15|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B6/504, A61B6/4441, A61B6/503, A61B6/541|
|European Classification||A61B6/54B, A61B6/44J2B|
|Apr 7, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BOESE, JAN;LAURITSCH, GUNTER;REEL/FRAME:017741/0239;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060327 TO 20060405
|Mar 7, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4